Rhinoplasty surgery is one of the most popular surgeries worldwide, with over 200,000 procedures performed annually in the US alone. Not only can rhinoplasties make people feel more confident, but they can also help alleviate issues associated with breathing.
If you’re considering rhinoplasty surgery, you may be feeling nervous about the procedure overall. Our goal is to make you feel much more comfortable. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about rhinoplasty surgery and what to do before and after the procedure.
Overview of Rhinoplasty Surgery
Your first step is to get a better understanding of rhinoplasty surgery.
Rhinoplasty, also known as a “nose job,” is a surgery that modifies the bones and cartilage of your nose, ultimately changing its shape.
Simultaneously, rhinoplasty can help to correct internal breathing deformities, straighten nasal passages and correct asymmetry of nostrils that are too small or wide while also improving its appearance.
Why Do People Get Rhinoplasty?
You may be considering rhinoplasty surgery to improve your overall appearance. Many people also get rhinoplasty to repair conditions like:
- Deviated septum
- Congenital (birth) defect
- Repair facial fractures such as a broken nose
- Restore breathing after a disease like cancer
- Repair of traumatic injuries
Types of Rhinoplasty Surgeries
There are two main types of rhinoplasty surgeries you can get. First, there is open rhinoplasty which permits better access to the nose and allows for more precision during surgery.
Your surgeon will make a tiny incision at the base of your nose where the tissue meets and connects your nostrils.This is called the columella and allows your surgeon to see the structures of your nose more clearly. They’ll rearrange, reduce, and sometimes add cartilage to the nasal bone to create a tailored and more proportional shape.
Since an open rhinoplasty involves a more serious correction, you may experience a longer recovery.
The next type is closed rhinoplasty, which is for minor nose reshaping. Your surgeon makes incisions inside your nose to separate the cartilage from the bone. The recovery for a closed rhinoplasty can be much shorter.
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What to Do Before Rhinoplasty Surgery
You’ll first need to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. Initially, your surgeon will evaluate you to ensure you’re a good candidate for the surgery.
Your surgeon will evaluate your medical history, and ask you about current medical conditions and any medications you’re taking. Your surgeon will also perform a physical exam to assess the skin on the outside and inside of your nose. Doing so will help determine what changes they can make.
Additionally, your surgeon may order blood tests and other tests to check your health before scheduling surgery.
Discuss Goals and Expectations
You’ll also discuss your surgery goals and identify any other procedures you’d like to get done simultaneously. Your doctor will help you understand what rhinoplasty can and can’t do for your appearance.
Some patients choose to have chin augmentation performed with rhinoplasty. This is because a recessed chin can create the appearance of a larger nose. Although a chin augmentation isn’t required, it can provide a better balance to the overall balance of your face.
Your first consultation also includes taking pictures of your nose from different angles. These pictures will be used to assess the results of your surgery by comparing the before and after. Your surgeon will also use these pictures as a reference during surgery.
You’ll also discuss the total cost of the surgery. The average rhinoplasty cost can vary, usually between $5,500 and $15,000. This price is based on the experience of the surgeon, if an open or closed approach is taken, and if any internal repairs, like septoplasty, need to be addressed at the same time.
Your surgeon will let you know the exact procedure cost at your consultation. Keep in mind that health insurance carriers do not cover rhinoplasty surgery unless the procedure is medically necessary.
Fortunately, many plastic surgeons offer various financing options. Usually, these options include:
- PatientFi – allows you to pay for your treatment with flexible monthly payment plans
- Alphaeon Credit – a card that will enable you to pay for your surgery via monthly payments
- CareCredit for cosmetic procedures gives you monthly payment options
Remember, ensuring you’re financially prepared for rhinoplasty is a crucial step you’ll need to take before scheduling your surgery. Take your time and thoroughly research your options.
Prepare for Surgery
Two weeks before surgery, your surgeon will guide you to discontinue taking some medications and supplements that can interfere with your blood’s natural clotting process.
It’s also essential to stop smoking before surgery. People who smoke are at a higher risk for surgical complications. This is because the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes decrease oxygen levels in your blood. It also reduces your body’s ability to deliver essential nutrients for healing after surgery, which will make for a longer recovery period.
Quitting just four weeks before surgery can reduce your risk of complications during surgery. You’ll also heal more easily after surgery.
Finally, you won’t be able to eat or drink for a few hours before surgery when you undergo general anesthesia.
Find a Friend or Family Member to Help You
Since rhinoplasty involves anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery. Most of the time, rhinoplasty surgery takes between 60 and 90 minutes.
During the time of your recovery, you should also plan to take about a week off of work or school.
What to Do After Surgery
After surgery, you’ll be in a recovery room for a few hours. Your surgeon will make sure everything is going well before you’re allowed to go home the same day.
Your surgeon may place a metal or plastic splint on your nose to help it retain its new shape during the healing process. They also might apply packing or internal splints inside your nose for 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
You’ll need to take steps during your rhinoplasty recovery that include:
Reduce Swelling and Bruising
Swelling and bruising can occur around your eyes and nose. You might also notice some mild facial swelling. This swelling occurs because fluid accumulates under the skin after surgery.
You’ll need to rest with your head elevated to reduce swelling and bruising. Follow your surgeon’s guidelines for icing protocols after surgery. Icing is usually only beneficial during the first 24 hours after surgery and should be applied at the frequency directed.
Swelling and bruising should subside after the first week.
You may experience headaches and facial swelling immediately following surgery. Your surgeon will typically prescribe pain medications to take along with information for over-the-counter medications as your healing progresses.
Contact your surgeon if you have increased pain after surgery that isn’t relieved by medications.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
During the first week after surgery, you must rest with your head elevated. Avoid strenuous activities like running or swimming. You also must be careful with smiling or laughing and facial expressions that require excessive movement of your face.
Once six weeks have passed, and you have received clearance from your surgeon, you can typically resume your regular exercise routine. Remember, everyone heals differently. If you’re still feeling sore or tired, talk to your surgeon so that they can make further recommendations.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Remember, the nutrition you consume after surgery is critical to the healing process. Eating foods that are easy to chew is best during the first week after surgery. Be sure to eat foods like scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, or mashed potatoes.
You also need to increase your water consumption to avoid dehydration after surgery. Stick to foods that help fight inflammation, like spinach, salmon, and strawberries.
Avoid hard or crunchy foods to minimize the amount of chewing you need to do.
Avoid consuming alcohol during the first week. Alcohol can interfere with how your body absorbs the anesthesia and make you more likely to have bleeding after surgery. It can also interfere with the medications you’re taking.
It’s best to avoid spicy foods as they have the potential to irritate your digestive system. You’ll also want to limit foods high in sodium since they can increase swelling by causing you to retain water.
Attend Follow up Appointments
Your doctor will need to see you during the first week after surgery. You may need multiple appointments so your doctor can remove your splint and nose packing. They’ll also check to ensure your incisions are healing properly and that you don’t have any signs of infection, excessive swelling, or bleeding.
After the first two weeks, your follow-up appointments will be scheduled further apart, usually every few months, unless indicated for a more frequent occurrence. After this, your surgeon will follow up with you for the first year after surgery.
Your follow-up appointments are essential to recovering properly, so you’ll need to attend each appointment.
Even though the swelling reduces significantly within a week, it can take up to a year for your nose to take its final shape.
This is because swelling can be present for months after your surgery. However, you’ll see noticeable results within the first week after surgery. If you’ve had surgery to fix a deviated septum, you’ll notice breathing improvements within six weeks.
It’s important to remember that some people have swelling for longer than others. Overall, the more you rest and give your body time to recover, the sooner you’ll see the results you’re looking for.
Talk to an Experienced Plastic Surgeon About Rhinoplasty Surgery
Now that you know more about what to do before and after rhinoplasty surgery, you’ll feel much more comfortable about the procedure.
If you’re looking for an experienced and reputable surgeon in your area, you can turn to Blackhawk Plastic Surgery for your rhinoplasty. We perform a variety of procedures like rhinoplasty, facial procedures, breast procedures, and more.
We also have a medspa where you can have laser procedures, Botox, fillers, and other skin care therapies performed.
We have financing options available and are dedicated to helping you look and feel your best while providing compassionate, expert care. Make sure you contact us today to schedule a consultation!